Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Southern Food and Beverage Museum





Thanks Howard University!

Earlier this month students from Howard University came down to New Orleans for the HU Alternative Spring Break Program.  Let me just start by saying, these students took a bus 24 hours all the way from D.C. that’s dedication! They volunteered for 3 days and put in hours of work towards the Culinary Library that SoFAB is opening on 1609 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. I want to say a big THANKS to all the students who gave their spring break to volunteer. They were awesome!

Here’s a list of what they accomplished, it truly is a lot:

– painted first story of building exterior

– planted 12 fruit trees, the first step towards creating our educational garden

– organized and packed thousands of cookbooks

– removed damaged linoleum flooring

– cleared debris and prepped for the next steps of construction
I want to emphasize how important this momentum is, all of their work brings us closer to the opening of the Culinary Library, which will be a great community resource!

Read more about their trip to New Orleans and all the different service projects here at their blog:


 If you’d like to get your friends and family involved with the Culinary Library Project, here’s a link to our online fundraising campaign:

More March Madness

         Nola Edible Forest Project

On March 9th I found myself surrounded by 1,000 fruit trees in an overgrown lot (well, not just any lot. the lot behind the future SoFAB Culinary Library) in Central City. I was even lucky enough to be so close that I could smell the citrus (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes!) because I helped unload all the trees potted in 5 gallon tubs from the two giant trucks that delivered them. And I sure do have the scratches on my arms to prove how many trees I carried!

 The Southern Food and Beverage Museum partnered with the New Orleans Food and Farm Network to offer 1,000 fruit trees(thanks to the Apache Tree Foundation) at no cost to New Orleans organizations and people in the community interested in backyard gardening. We put out the call and for months people put in requests, anxious to claim their trees.

The next day, March 10th, after we realized how big of a number 1,000 really is from seeing that many trees come off a truck, the hundreds of people that had requested trees flocked in from all over the city to take home the newest addition to their gardens. There were people from schools, community gardens, orchards, and individuals just looking to get started in their backyard. Sometimes in New Orleans, as I’m sure in other cities, there can be a lack of collaboration between non-profits. Even for organizations that have the same goals, work in the same area, and could benefit from working together the reality is that communication doesn’t always happen. However, when people came to pick up all those trees I got the rare chance to meet so many folks from all kinds of organizations I didn’t know existed in New Orleans. This event, just having everyone come to one place even for a brief moment, got so many conversations started.



-Lucy Rosenbloom, Tulane CPS AmeriCorps VISTA, Southern Food and Beverage Museum





About Tulane VISTA

Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

One comment on “Field Report: Southern Food and Beverage Museum

  1. handsonneworleans
    March 28, 2012

    Way to go Howard University! The HandsOn team handed out about 75 of those fruit trees to residents in the 7th ward. Thank you for sharing!

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2012 by in Uncategorized.



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